“He hops out of the back of the Jeep and runs off to school and I said, ‘See ya later buddy!’ He goes, “Love you dad,’ and ‘I go love you, too.'”
Jim Pitzen remembers the last time he would see his 6-year-old son Timmothy, running towards his kindergarten teacher after dropping him off at school.
“He ran off to his teacher and it was all good,” said Jim Pitzen.
Later on that morning, when he returned to pick Timmothy up, he was gone.
“I pull in and his teacher goes, ‘Well, he’s not here.’ And I go, ‘What do you mean he’s not here?’ And she goes, ‘Well, he got picked up around 8:10 or 8:15 in the morning,'” said Pitzen.
Timmothy checked out of Greenman Elementary School in Aurora, about 75 miles away from Rockford. Little did his teachers and classmates know, he would never return.
“I went to work and said, ‘I need the rest of the day off, since something is going on,'” he said.
Pitzen was right. Three days later, his wife Amy was found dead in a Rockford motel room after she committed suicide. Police later discovered a note she left saying that Timmothy was safe with people who love and care for him, and ‘you will never find him.'”
It’s a note that still haunts this grieving father today.
“I was totally taken by [surprise by] the situation and sort of paralyzed at the time,” said Pitzen.
Timmothy’s kindergarten teacher, Cheryl Broach, was the last one to see Timmothy walk out of school on May 11, 2011 to meet his mother, who volunteered at times in her classroom. Broach knew something was wrong when Amy didn’t notify her that Timothy would be leaving school early.
“He walked down with his backpack on and he turned at the clock and waved, ‘See you tomorrow,'” I said, ‘See you, Timmothy,’ and he walked [away] and I would never see him again,” said Broach.
It wasn’t until a few days later that she was told something was wrong.
“My principal called me into the office and met me in the hallway and told me that there were two police officers in his office and wanted to talk about Timmothy. And right there, I lost it. I knew something was wrong,” said Broach.
Before Amy was found dead, the two were spotted at Key Lime Cove in Gurnee, and the Wisconsin Dells,
and later Amy was seen at the Sullivan’s grocery store in Winnebago.
“Timmothy was the apple of her eye. Timmothy made her a better mom. Timmothy was one person that she would never do anything to,” said Pitzen.
Six years later, Aurora Police detectives continue to investigate, believing Timmothy could still be alive.
Microtrace is a private forensic laboratory in Elgin, assisting Aurora Police. They are tracing key evidence, primarily the soil and gravel found under Amy’s SUV, which she likely used when Timmothy went missing.
“Aurora police came to us in this case, because they thought perhaps we could put some constraints on where these samples might have come from, or where this dirt might have come from,” said Research Microscopist, Christopher Palenik.
They’re looking into a new angle to help identify where Timmothy may be.
“There’s an unexpected mineral found in the soil called anhydrite, and if we can figure out where this mineral is occurring, or why it’s occurring in the soil, this could give us a lot of information about where the mud originated,” said Palenik.
Timmothy’s father is optimistic that investigators will eventually develop a strong lead to bring his son home. He now lives in Clinton, Iowa with his dog Bailey, who he adopted shortly after Timmothy went missing, hoping one day Timmothy and Bailey will eventually meet.
“It’s terrifying, not knowing where he’s at. I keep hoping everyday that he comes home,” he said.